Friday, July 31, 2015

A Visit to Glenstal Abbey!

I visited the monks of Glenstal Abbey in Co. Limerick for a weekend recently. It is home to a community of Benedictine Monks. The beautiful ground, ancient woodland trails and lakes create an atmosphere of peace and quiet inviting one to sit, pray and ponder. I joined the community for daily Mass, as well as morning, evening and night prayer. I discovered how relevant body gestures are to prayer. The monks are at ease with such gestures. Their desire is to worship and praise God. They pray with their bodies as they stand, bow and sit, chanting the psalms. They also believe that bodily work with the intention of serving God is prayer.

We bless our bodies with the sign of the cross. We receive the host in our hands at communion. We go on pilgrimage which is a bodily prayer and forgo bodily comforts. It makes sense that we pray with our bodies because it is as human persons that we meet God. The psalmist puts it well in psalm 103: “Let all my being bless his holy name.”
My concentration of mind may lapse during my time of prayer but my body is still there!
One of the great gifts of religious brotherhood is the time and space it affords to developing good prayer habits and meaningful practices.

If you are interested in life as a Presentation Brother, please send an e-mail to     

No comments:

Post a Comment